What’s in that bowl?
It’s bean soup!
I know, but what is it now?
That old Benny Hill gag always comes to mind when we make or eat bean soup. A nice bowl of beans, veggies and stock with a little meat added can make a really delicious and nutritious meal. You can use one type of beans or a mixture. And the whole cooking process takes only about an hour, completely unattended.
We started with Bob’s Red Mill Black Bean Soup Mix. This has about 5 kinds of beans, but no seasonings or veggies: those are on you. It has for many years been customary to soak beans overnight before cooking them. This is supposed to make them more digestible and reduce flatulence. But this is controversial, and you probably don’t need to do it.
Nonetheless, for our first Instant Pot bean project, we soaked them over night. Next time we’ll omit that step and just cook them a little longer. We took two cups of the bean mix and rinsed them off under running water, and then soaked them for 12 hours over night, and then rinsed them. You would need to do this rinsing anyway to remove agricultural debris. The beans will have at least doubled in bulk while soaking.
Then we used them as described below.
- 2 cups beans, soaked overnight
- 3 ½ cups chicken stock
- 2-3 Tb olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peels and chopped coarsely
- 1 green, sweet pepper
- 1 cup cubed ham (or more)
- 1 small bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp thyme
- Salt, pepper
- Put the olive oil in the Instant Pot pan and set the pot to Simmer (highest setting)
- Add the carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes
- Add the onions, celery, and pepper and saute until soft
- Add the garlic and saute briefly until you smell the fragrance
- Add the beans and chicken stock and mix
- Add the ham, parsley and spices and mix.
- Close the Instant Pot and set to 25 minutes on Manual. If you didn’t soak the beans, you may need to add 10 minutes, but 25 is probably enough either way.
- Allow the mixture to rest 15 minutes before releasing the steam.
Serve in bowls, with crusty bread on the side. Makes around 4 servings.